22nd Sept: WeDO Expert Q & A – Hybrid Working

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  • WeDO Expert Q & A: Hybrid Working
     22 September 2021
     12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

    With Covid-19 restrictions starting to ease, businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing the hybrid approach, but what are the realities of hybrid working and what should we be considering if we adopt this model going forward?

    Government advice is still relatively unclear. The ‘stay-at-home’ mandates remain in place for many, whilst others are embracing the return to the office.  Whatever way you look at it, the pandemic has resulted in fundamental changes in our workplaces.  Businesses are being encouraged (and indeed expected by many employees) to adopt more flexible and agile working practices.  Many staff are relishing the prospect of returning to a team environment, others would prefer to continue working from home, and some would like a mix of both.  So how do we, as employers, decide the best approach going forward?  

    Many complexities arise from the hybrid model – working practices, systems, cyber security and contracts of employment to name but a few.  And what happens if you have a Covid outbreak in your workplace?  Do you have processes in place to deal with this?  What are the legal requirements?  What do you do if someone refuses to return to the office?  Or if someone refuses to work from home?  What measures have you put in place to ensure your staff and your business are safe & secure working online from home?  How will hybrid working affect your culture and values?  What can you do to mitigate the negative impacts of hybrid working?

    Join our Expert Panel for this interactive Q & A session exploring the complexities of hybrid working.  There will be no presentations but ample opportunity for you to ask questions to our panel of experts, as well as benefit from hearing the experiences and ideas from your fellow members.  Peer to peer learning at its best!



    Iain is a member of WeDO and a specialist employment lawyer based in the Scottish Borders. He has spent more than 25 years as a Mental Health practitioner and over 15 years as a Convener of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.

    He is the founder of Burke Legal in Galashiels, sister firm to Borders Employment Law launched in 2013, offering employers a unique legal service dedicated to law in the workplace. Additionally, he is founder of Burke’s Employment Law. specialists in all aspects of employment law including Covid-19 back to business support.

    Specialist services provided by Iain also include providing advice and protection on dismissal, disciplinary matters, employment contracts and handbooks, redundancy, TUPE, workplace discrimination, absence management, mediation, tribunals and compliance.

    With more than 25 years as a Mental Health Tribunal practitioner, Iain is well aware of the difficulties and stigma surrounding mental illness. This is particularly true in the workplace where there has been a long held negative connotation associated with even discussing mental health.

    As former Convenor of the Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Committee, he offers specialist advice on the legal considerations all employers need to be aware of around equality in the workplace, as well as the policies you should have in place to prevent discrimination at work.

    LISA THOMSON of PURPOSE HR – an AAB Group Company

    Lisa founded Purpose HR to provide niche HR consultancy and ‘HR as a service’ outsourcing to early stage and high growth companies. In the last 7 years she has built a team of qualified HR specialists, and they have fulfilled projects with well over 70 clients, with a focus in technology and life sciences. In July of this year, Lisa sold a majority stake to Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP, who are also members of WeDO.  As an AAB Group Company Purpose HR have access to 340 business advisors and work together to deliver solutions for clients across the critical business areas of people and finance.

    Purpose HR help their clients manage their businesses and people most effectively and productively in order to help scale and meet the business challenges of fast paced growth.  They provide cost effective, pragmatic outsourced HR support and can also assist with due diligence to help businesses get investor ready if they are seeking funding. For international companies looking to set up business or hire in the UK, they can help to put the necessary, legally compliant HR frameworks in place, simply and cost effectively.

    Lisa holds an Executive Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring practice from the Edinburgh Coaching Academy, and provide 1:1 executive and leadership coaching to business leaders, founders, commercial people and executives. Lisa is a former Scotland Director for Startup Grind and an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland. 


    Scott is the founder and Managing Director of Decode Cyber Solutions, launched in May 2020.  He is an accomplished Online Safety and Cyber Security and Prevention Consultant with a proven track record in designing and delivering robust security solutions and strategies to manage and mitigate risks.

    Unlike other cyber security companies, Decode Cyber’s primary focus is on the human factor. Through the creation of holistic strategy, policy, and cultural approaches, that support tech solutions, the Mission of Decode Cyber Solutions is “Keeping your staff safe – Keeping your organisation secure online”.

    Previously, Scott was responsible for the creation and development of the Police Scotland Cybercrime Prevention Strategy and was the national lead for the Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team until June 2020.

    He was a strategic advisor to the Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Strategy; and was a member of the Education and Skills Group, As well as advising various groups on a number of cyber related strategies and approaches, he has also worked with several key partners including Europol; National Cyber Security Centre; National Crime Agency and public, private and third sector partners.

    He was responsible for Police Scotland being the first Police Force in the UK to adopt Europol’s No More Ransom Programme and was an advisor the Scottish Government with regard to UK Government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Online Harms White on Cybercrime.

    In 2018, under Scott’s leadership, the Police Scotland Cybercrime Prevention Team was recognised at the Scottish Cyber Awards where they were awarded the prize for the Outstanding Cyber Team.

    Scott previously served for 10 years in the British Army, serving in a number of countries including Germany, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.  He was also seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where, as a member of a close protection team, and was the bodyguard for the British Ambassador in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Scott was also a police firearm trained officer and was involved in a number of operations including the Lockerbie Trial in the Netherlands.

    Additionally, he was also a trained hostage and crisis negotiator. One of the most high-profile negotiations he carried out was in 2014, when, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, he scaled the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow and managed to convince a group of anti-war protestors to continue their protest at ‘ground level’.

    Scott is a graduate of Criminology having gained a BSc (Hons) degree with the University of Portsmouth.



    Alistair is a member of WeDO and the founder and Managing Director of The HR Booth based in Fife. Since inception in 2013, he and his team have helped business owners, Directors and managers across Scotland and the UK to resolve people challenges within SMEs, helping them to save time and money. This enables entrepreneurs to focus on the growing their businesses, knowing their people are being managed effectively.

    Alistair has specialised in giving advice to managers since 1998 on how to manage people, listening to the challenges and offering commercial, practical advice on how best to resolve. Having supported and advised hundreds of managers during his career, he knows what works.

    He advises businesses of all sizes across various sectors, offering outsourced solutions which free up Directors time to enable them to concentrate on growing their business, giving them the confidence their HR requirements are looked after.

    Services offered by The HR Booth include outsourced HR retainers working with clients for a fixed monthly fee, redundancy and consultation support – protecting businesses from risk whilst saving time and HR pay as you go – a flexible solution giving support as and when entrepreneurs need it. 

    HR Booth clients include Pitreavie Packaging, Sidey, eCom Scotland, Rejects Department Store, East Lothian Produce, DPS, Gym 64, Tullochan, Fife Employment Access Trust, Rapier Systems, Haldane UK and ACA.

    Alistair is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD).

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